October 19, 2018


Posted on July 26, 2012 by in Home & Hearth

Good morning friends and neighbors.  Newt, the greenhorn farmer here again writing about my exploits around our citified farm…

It’s time again for a report on the chicken flock, or what’s left of them.  Varmints are afoot in the chicken house.  One evening, I walked out to the chicken yard to throw them some old bread and table scraps from Annabelle’s kitchen and I saw a white house cat munching on the carcass of one of my large white chickens. Now this was just an ordinary white house cat, not a wild variety.  We live in a semi-rural area and I’ve seen several cats skulking around my property, and I never thought a thing about it.  I had a hard time believing that a domesticated ten pound house cat could kill an almost full grown chicken. Then I remembered how a feline kills.  They grab their prey and clamp their jaws around the windpipe of the hapless victim, smothering it. This lovely house cat was munching on my chicken when it looked up and saw me approaching.

I threw a scoop of chicken feed at it, plastic scoop and all, but kitty cats are quick. 

 It scampered up a tree, jumped onto the roof of the chicken house, and disappeared like a white streak in the evening darkness.  Prior to this I had kept my pit bull ranch dog, Koda from chasing cats, but if I ever see another one in my yard, I going to turn the sixty five pounds of teeth, anxiety, and bad attitude loose.  She probably won’t be able to catch one, but maybe they will steer clear of my chicken house in the future. We got rid of the possum problem, now its other people’s house cats killing my investment and hard work.

The number of the flock is down to about 25 chickens, so now Annabelle and I are thinking that we are probably going to keep them all for eggs.  They all look like hens for some reason, so hopefully soon we are going to have fresh farm eggs for breakfast.  The life of a green horn farmer is so wrought with obstacles.

Onto to other things about the farm:  Mowing the grass has taken a lot of my time and strength lately.  It’s been raining every other day, and the grass has been growing like bad weeds.  My Craftsman push mower quit running on me, and I had to mow with an old style centrifugal force manual push mower that Annabelle had bought at a garage sale sometime in the past. The purchase of this back breaking mower is how the Craftsman push mower came to be.  I tried once or twice when she first bought it and I pronounced it way too difficult to use, but now I was in a pickle.  I can mow the front yard with my lawn tractor, but it mows unevenly and the front yard has two big trees and a ditch to contend with every time you mow.  I broke out the old centrifugal force mower and got after it.  The grass was cut evenly but higher than I liked it.  I had to mow every other day with this old antique mower to keep the front yard from looking unkempt.  Antique Lawn Mower

This went on for several weeks, and then I ran across a face book post by an old friend, Howard Phelps.  It seems that after Howard retired from law enforcement he started a lawnmower repair business out of his house.  I called him up and told him my problems and he said “sure bring it on over”.  I took him my Craftsman 6 horsepower push mower and a gas powered weed eater.  He kept them four days and called me back and said they were ready.  I asked him what he had to do, and he explained that the carburetor on each machine was just clogged up and dirty.  He cleaned them up, replaced the necessary fuel filters and they run perfectly.  I am running his business card with this story because I know him to be an honest fellow who apparently does good work, and has reasonable prices.  I’ve been mowing grass like a fiend ever since I got the mower back. Kemah Lawn Mower Repair

Last month Annabelle bought me a great new wheeled gas powered weed eater.  It’s a Ryobi T-720 model with a 4-cycle engine (no mixed fuel), with two wheels and a trimmer head.  It starts real easy, and seems to be very powerful.  It can whack the hell out of weeds, but for some reason it tends to break the string off when you use it on full power.  I’ve bought a different brand of plastic string to use on it. I’m hoping that it solves the problem.  Heaven knows I have plenty of use for it around my place.Ryobi weed eater

News Flash, Stop the Presses!

The murderous possum that has been terrorizing the chicken population of the Green Acres farm has been hunted down by a duo of Texas peace officers in a ambush reminisent of the Bonnie and Clyde shooting in 1934.  One member of the posse alerted another member and although it was a dark and rainy night the elderly LEO approached the killer with weapon drawn.  The murderer had struck again having just killed a teenage five pound hen, who was just starting her life anticipating have many eggs and perhaps a few chicks of her own.

The elderly LEO approached the murderer and illuminated the killer with his weapon mounted flashlight. The killer looked up from his victim and flashed a toothy smile, just daring the LEO to act.  The LEO saw that a chicken-cide had just occurred and reacted quickly to protect the lives of the terrified bystanders who were frozen in fear.  He took careful aim and fired one life saving shot that ended the career of the murderous possum.  This killer had killed both adult and baby chickens during his four month rein of terror, and he met his fate during the commission of his last heinous crime.

The elderly LEO hurried to get out of the rain, reported his actions to his supervising partner, and called it a night.  He slept fitfully that night but realized that it was just excess adrenalin and not remorse over eliminating a killer. I hope you enjoy this little story, and don’t forget to give old Howard a call if you need small engine repair.  He’s a good man just trying to make a living by giving his customers good service.  Till next time, may you have fair weather, and a cool breeze to make your farm work more enjoyable.


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